bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
New Year's Eve has been a dud for us for a long time. When I was young, we used to spend it with the family of a friend of my father's from work; that was a lot of fun. But Teri and Sebastian both fall asleep long before midnight every New Year's Eve, so I've spent pretty much every on my own - or asleep myself.

But this year was different. I'd heard that the Edaville Railroad was closing, probably for good. I've been going there since I was a baby, so of course I insisted that we should go.

The weather was warm for the time of year; we got there right at opening time, 4PM. The sun was going down, and the Christmas Festival of Lights was going full blast. We went to the cranberry and train museum building; Sebastian and I went upstairs. In the past there had been a free cranberry juice dispenser, but it was gone. The glassed-in honey bee hive was empty too. Sebastian still had some fun running around through the maze, although he's so tall now that he was easily able to see over the walls.

After that we went down and rode the Ferris Wheel. It was a LOT of fun; chilly, but it went fast and gave us an incredible feeling when we went over the top. We laughed and laughed. My fingers were freezing in the cold air at the top of the Ferris Wheel, but luckily I didn't drop my phone!

Later we took the train. By coincidence, the steam engine was on loan from the Boothbay Railway; when Edaville closed in 1991 a lot of their rolling stock was sold off, and some of it ended up in Boothbay. The steam engine wasn't from Edaville, but it was still a funny coincidence.

The train windows steamed up quite a bit, but it was still a lot of fun; there were light displays and painted wooden figures on the sides of the tracks and among the cranberry bogs. We chatted with an older couple nearby, who took a picture of all three of us. At one point the train stopped, stood still for a while, and then backed up for perhaps 500 feet. Then it went forward again.

When we got off the train, we ran down past the tracks and Sebastian played on several of the other trains that had been turned into playground installations. Then he got hungry, so we went to the cafe and had hot dogs and french fries. Perhaps it was the cold air and running around we'd done, but the food was delicious. After that Sebastian played a game and won a penguin toy (what else?), and then I bought a fried dough and hot chocolate with whipped cream and jimmies. There's nothing like fried dough with steam coming out of it on a cold day, and the hot chocolate was really good; just the right temperature, hot but not too hot to drink.

By then it was getting late, so we headed towards the exit. Just before the souvenir ship was a large trailer that said "heated mine", and next to it was a gold-panning sluice. The hot water running down it was steaming. We talked to the man there, and discovered that the inside of the trailer was set up as a mine - Bear Creek Mine - with interesting rocks and fossils inside. It wasn't too expensive, so Sebastian put on a miner's helmet with a little light on it, and I accompanied him inside the dark trailer.

Inside, the walls were covered with rock-like stuff (foam, I think), neat-looking fossil art, and little holes with fossils and gemstones - nothing valuable, of course, but cool nonetheless. It took Sebastian quite a while to find everything, but there was no rush. While we were inside, Teri had a nice chat with the owner. They also had the gold-dust panning sluice, but I was out of cash and they couldn't take cards. Still, Sebastian loved it so much that he wants to have them do his birthday party next year. I think we will!

Teri had also heard from many people that the park was for sale for 11 million dollars, but it apparently wasn't selling. The owner, everyone said, was going to subdivide the land for luxury houses or condominiums if the place wouldn't sell as a park. If that's true, it's a terrible, terrible shame. Edaville survived an eight-year shutdown in the 1990s, but if the land is divided up for housing, Edaville will never be able to come back. It's such a wonderful place, so much fun, and it's been running since 1947! Why is this being allowed? The place is a genuine New England treasure!

We made a final stop at the gift shop, and I splurged on memorabilia. We got lots of fun Edaville stuff. I just hope that the place stays open so we can come back again and again. And some day, with Sebastian's children.


Nov. 1st, 2009 09:37 am
bobquasit: (Default)
...went well. Sebastian dressed up as Darth Vader. Once again he didn't go to that many houses; maybe nine or ten, which is a new (high) record for him. He's just not that crazy about getting candy. Maybe if he had other kids to go with he'd be into it more.

He did a great job at saying "Trick or Treat" and "Thank you". But he kept yanking his mask off as soon as he turned away from the doors. Apparently it was really hard to see through the eye-holes.

The weather was beautiful - just the right temperature, windy, with clouds scudding across the night sky more swiftly than I've ever seen before. There were a few tiny drops of rain now and again, but nothing to worry about. Sebastian got to give out candy to trick-or-treating kids, too; he really liked doing that, although one small child was scared of him even though he wasn't wearing his mask.


Oct. 20th, 2009 10:29 am
bobquasit: (Default)
Almost forgot: on Saturday after his birthday party Sebastian was being pretty terrible. There was a lot of screaming going on. We sent him to his room, with some difficulty.

After he got out, Teri really wanted to go see the Pumpkin Trail at Roger Williams Zoo. It's an annual event; they have lots of jack-o-lanterns. We'd tried to see it about five years ago, but the wait was about three hours in line, and we weren't allowed to bring strollers in. So we left.

I was dubious about letting Sebastian have a treat when he'd been so bad (and I was tired as hell), but I finally gave in (to Teri, not Sebastian). The night was warmer than that night five years ago, and the line was much shorter.

The Pumpkin Trail was...pretty damn strange. I'll have video or pictures up soon.
bobquasit: (Default)
It was an eventful three days.


On Saturday, we'd been asked to be designated drivers to King Richard's Faire for Teri's brother and his wife and friends. We did that last year, too.
Read more... )


Jan. 11th, 2009 10:19 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
It was an interesting one.

On Saturday we had to get up on the early side, because there was a Cub Scout event at the local high school: a Belt Loop Bonanza, in which each kid took four one-hour classes and will receive a belt loop award for each one. It wasn't just Sebastian's troop, either; there were hundreds of Cub Scouts there with their parents, from lots of Massachusetts and Rhode Island troops.

It felt weird to be in a high school. I haven't been in one in must have been twenty-six years! It was also strange because we had to bring our lunches and eat in the school cafeteria. I don't know...the whole experience was odd, but fun.

Sebastian took a great Wildlife Conservation course that was taught by a women who works at Roger Williams Zoo, an introduction to chess (we played a game together, since he didn't have another kid to play against - he did surprisingly well), and then had lunch. After that he took a course in marbles, and finally a course in Geology that was taught by a guy who really knew his stuff - he seemed like the kind of teacher you really wouldn't want to piss off, but he was very authoritative.

Sebastian was quite good throughout all of the classes. I noticed that some kids, though, were just awful. They wouldn't stop talking, wouldn't pay attention, or constantly interrupted the teachers with pointless statements ("I like jello!") or long comments about the topic which were usually completely wrong. In some cases their parents tried to shush them, but hardly ever effectively. Those kids had real issues, I would say.

Sebastian did get a bit rambunctious at the end, after the classes were over; there was a closing ceremony where he basically ran around and didn't listen to me, but it was over quickly. Then Teri picked us up and we all went up to my parents' place in Brookline to celebrate a belated Christmas. I should explain: we alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas between my family and Teri's each year, and this year we spent Christmas with Teri's family. So we spend a belated Christmas with my family later. We were worried, though, because the weather report said that we'd be getting a bad storm that night. As always, no two reports agreed on when the storm would start or how much snow would fall. It could be anywhere from 4 PM to midnight, and the volume could be anywhere from six to ten inches.

I brought up a yellow bundt cake that I'd baked late the night before, not thinking of the get-together but just for the hell of it. We had roast beef, twice-baked potatoes, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding...I have to tell you, I love Yorkshire pudding with gravy. I only get it about once a year, when my mother makes it, and I really need to learn how to make it myself.

We left at about 8 PM. The snow was starting to come down. It was pretty mild in Brookline, but as we approached the I95/Route 1 crossover, it was getting pretty thick and scary. So Teri decided to stick to Route 1. It's a slower route, less dangerous but big enough to get good coverage from snowplows. It was a long, slow, somewhat scary ride home, because when we left Route 1 we were on some relatively unplowed and quiet back roads. But we made it home safely, woke Sebastian up, and put him to bed. It took a lot of reading to put him to sleep again; at least three chapters of The Black Stallion.

Sunday Teri woke me up and asked me to show her how to start the new snowblower. I got up (slowly), got dressed, and went out to get it. Our shed doors were frozen shut, but with some hard work I managed to get them open. The snowblower started up right away with no trouble, and I used it to clear the five or six inches of snow from our back walk, driveway, and front sidewalk. It only took about ten minutes or so. What a wonderful convenience!

Sunday was a relatively quiet day for us. We did some grocery shopping. Sebastian had been scheduled for a birthday party for a girl in his class, but it was postponed due to the weather. Teri and Sebastian played their DS's quite a bit, and I played them when they took breaks. I also spent a lot of time reading Larry Niven's Footfall, a good large SF invasion book of the massive disaster variety. Not top-notch Niven, but very good.

In the evening, Sebastian took a shower. A little later, we discovered that he'd shut the bathroom door behind him...and somehow, the bolt had engaged. This was a real problem, not least because I discovered this when I needed to use the bathroom.

It was also a mystery. How on earth had the bolt been thrown? It's an old door and a very simple mechanism. There's a latch for the door, and a light bolt that you can throw. Unfortunately, this meant that we were in trouble. There was no key and no keyhole. The hinges were on the other side of the door. The lone bathroom window couldn't be opened from outside, and breaking it would be both dangerous and expensive. Even if I unscrewed and dismounted the door handle, there would be no hole large enough to allow us to do anything at all. I tried using magnets to jiggle the bolt, but didn't have a magnet strong enough to do anything through the thickness of the door. I was able to slide a piece of cardboard between the door and the frame, but all I could do was locate the bolt; I couldn't open it, because there was no way to apply left-to-right pressure of any sort. The doorframe pretty much blocked me from any action. I tried lots of jiggling, but that didn't help at all.

So I threw my body against the bathroom door a couple of times, and on the second time I bashed the door open. We were lucky; the damage was relatively slight. The bolt and latch were badly bent (I neglected to fasten the latch open while bashing the door - to be honest, I was pretty pissed off by that point - I really needed to get in there). A very small splinter of wood was knocked off part of the door. But I was able to bend the latch and bolt back enough to make them work smoothly again, and the door itself doesn't look all that much worse.

Still, Sebastian has been strictly instructed never to close the bathroom door behind him again. I still can't figure out how the bolt got thrown - it's completely inaccessible from outside the bathroom!

New Year

Dec. 31st, 2008 10:46 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Teri and Sebastian are both asleep. For the life of me, I can't think of a reason to stay up by myself until midnight. Next year I'll try harder to find something for us all to do on New Year's Eve...

Happy New Year, by the way!
bobquasit: (Default)
Is anyone doing anything for New Year's? We've basically done nothing every New Year's Eve since Sebastian was born; in fact, we've mostly slept through it.

I kind of hate that. When I was a kid, we used to spend every New Year's Eve with another family; it was a nice tradition. I'd like to hang out with SOMEONE this year, if possible. Any ideas? Anyone?


Dec. 25th, 2008 12:24 am
bobquasit: (Default)
Presents wrapped and placed.

Stockings filled and arranged.

Letter written, re-written, printed, rolled, ribboned, and placed.

Cookies eaten. Milk drunk.

Now I can sleep.


For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a happy one.


Dec. 8th, 2008 10:47 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
I don't think I'll be getting many gifts this Christmas. Teri and I can't afford to get anything for each other. And let me be clear: I'm definitely not doing that coy asking-their-flist-for-gifts crap that some people do (generally attractive young women who like to write about their interesting sex lives and post pictures of themselves half-dressed). I don't respect that.

But I know that one person from my family will have drawn my name from the hat. And on the off chance that they need ideas and are reading this (neither is particularly likely), I'm posting this list of things that I'd like:

  1. A long warm scarf. My current scarf is thin and short; this morning I was really cold. Gray would be nice.
  2. A shower mirror. I shave in the shower, and a mirror would make my life easier.
  3. A large black fur hat like my grandfather used to wear. Not real fur, of course. My current wool hat looks stupid and tends to slowly rise up on my head, making me look ridiculous. The Cossack Diplomat Cap looks sort of like his hat did, except that I think his looked more like curly wool.
  4. A USB portable hard drive, preferably 500 GB. This is too expensive, of course.

The nice thing about wanting mostly cheap things is that I can eventually buy them for myself!

Oh, jeeze. A permanent membership to LJ would be nice, too - even though I still don't trust SUP.
bobquasit: (Default)
Someone posted a rather nice question asking about the meaning of Christmas for religious and non-religious people. I posted my answer in the discussion board, rather than risk the usual negative ratings from angry Christians. But I've received several compliments from Christians instead.

As an atheist, I celebrate Christmas from a secular mindset. The winter festival or holiday predates Christianity, of course, and many - most! - Christmas traditions actually date back to so-called "pagan" religious rituals, from a number of different religions. Of course, being an atheist I don't take those religions any more seriously than I do Christianity.
Read more... )
Come, Credit Department! Come, Personal Loan!
Come, Mortgage, Come Christmas Club, Come ---"

- From "Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus" by Fredric Pohl, available in The Best of Fredric Pohl

It's quite a nice thread; I hope it continues.

Update: I just extended it myself.

I imagine that when the time comes that my son realizes that there is no Santa Claus, I'll tell him in all honesty that he is Santa Claus - he'll be Santa for his kids, just as his mother and I were for him, and my father was for me.
bobquasit: (Default)
I don't want to write much about this, because it's bothering me and worrying me very much.

We were with my family for Thanksgiving, and some of us went out for a while to play catch and frisbee. Sebastian got hit right in the tooth with the frisbee. There was a sickening crack, and nearly half his tooth got knocked out.

It's a very large chip, but there doesn't seem to be any exposed nerve or blood. We had a hell of a time reaching an emergency dentist, but when we finally did, a very nice one took time from his Thanksgiving dinner to listen to the situation. Later, our own dentist called back.

Both agreed that it sounded as if the problem were only cosmetic. We'll book an appointment on Monday, since our dentist isn't available earlier. They can't re-attach the chip, but they should be able to bond some sort of replacement.

God, it looks awful. It's broken from nearly at the gum on the left side, and the entire biting surface is gone. It's a razor-sharp point on the other side. But at least I can't see any sign that the break extends into the pulp. I hope to god he doesn't need a root canal, or to have the tooth pulled and replaced.

Sebastian also apparently cut his lip when the frisbee hit, since there was a fair amount of blood in his mouth. He was scared silly, of course, and kept saying he didn't want it to have happened. He was so upset that he threw up his entire Thanksgiving dinner a bit later.

We drove home. He said he wanted to be home and go to sleep. He slept quite a bit in the car, and when we got here (a little while ago, he sat in bed for a while. But he didn't seem sleepy, so Teri took him downstairs to watch TV.

God, I wish this hadn't happened. I feel so bad for him. I hope it can just be fixed, and he never has to worry about it again for the rest of his life.

Update: Unfortunately after a little research, it seems that it will be a life-long issue for him after all. The tooth can be restored by a bonding process, but the replacement only lasts ten years. After that, I guess it will have to be replaced again. It may sound ridiculous that this is breaking my heart...but it is.
bobquasit: (Default)
I just wanted to wish a happy Thanksgiving for everyone who celebrates it. And for those who don't, happy Thursday!\

We're heading out to my brother's place for dinner with the family. I anticipate extreme fullness. :D

New Year

Jan. 3rd, 2006 09:39 pm
bobquasit: (Default)

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions; or at least, not for me. They're pretty much doomed to be broken, right from the start.

But having said that, there are some things that I'd like to note down for myself, things that should help me in the year to come - IF I can keep them in mind.
1. I need to try to move my sleeping time towards 9:30 PM. Too often I've been staying up until midnight. I need more sleep than that.

2. I'll sleep better if I don't eat after 8 PM. Or maybe even earlier. And I might lose a little weight that way, too.

3. An hour spent writing fiction is more satisfying than an hour spent playing Diablo.

4. I've been too damned lonely this year - hell, these last few years. One way or another, I need more of a social life. And so does my family.

5. Fear is my great enemy. I need to find better ways to fight it.

6. If something stresses me, I need to cut it out - or at least reduce it. The trick is to realize what's stressing me.

7. Use the time I have.

And now it's time for me to go to bed. With luck, I'll be asleep by 9:45.
bobquasit: (Default)
Having a quiet night at home; an old friend is visiting. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I hope you're safe and happy.
bobquasit: (Default)
I spoke too soon.

Half an hour after my 10:18 PM entry, Sebastian's temperature was back up to 104.9° (yes, I just figured out how to make a degree symbol in HTML). I called the doctor, was referred to the nurse triage line, and after a few minutes on hold I was speaking to a nurse. As a result of that call we woke him up and gave him children's Motrin. He fussed, but took it and was back to sleep within moments. Now I have to stay up for an hour to take his temperature at midnight, and then call the nurse back.

His hands and feet are like ice, even though his head and torso are burning up. The nurse had me do a nail-bed press test to make sure that he wasn't losing circulation. Which he's not, fortunately.

Since I'm up anyway, I might as well catch up on my posting. The alternative would be Diablo, and I'm already nervous enough.

This is a recap of the weekend, so it's going to be longish. And I'll put in five or six photos. They've been resampled to a smaller size, but I'll still place it all behind a cut for low-bandwidth people.
Read more... )
We took him home, and the rest you may have already read; Sebastian got as sick as a dog. And in fact, it's time for me to go and take his temperature.


bobquasit: (Default)

February 2016

212223 24252627


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Mar. 27th, 2017 04:48 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios